The Strana Kaliningrad newspaper has been in circulation for 22 years. We digitized the entire SK archive from our first issue in 1999 – let’s remember together what happened in different years in the first days of June.
2001: forbidden, but possible
In those early years, the drug problem among young people was acute: it was possible to buy illicit substances even at school. This is what our correspondent tried to do in the yard of one of the high schools – we managed to agree. According to the Department of Home Affairs, in 4 months of 2001, 116 adolescents were found to be using drugs and psychotropic substances. A lot of work has been done since then: children and adolescents have been involved in anti-drug activities, they have started to watch it more closely and the picture is now completely different. But the problem has not completely disappeared: according to Rosstat, in 2020 more than 7,000 people died from drugs in Russia (the pandemic increased these numbers sharply).
2010: long-awaited street and healthcare scandal
The construction of the second overpass, which connected the northern and southern parts of Kaliningrad, was in full swing. There was another stage of the work. The object is long-awaited: the construction of the bridge in the old and new Pregol started in 1985 and after 7 years it stopped due to lack of funds. Again, construction did not begin until 2006 (during the preparations for the celebration of the 750th anniversary of Kaliningrad-Koenigsberg, money was found). The overpass opened in December 2011. Citizens have been using it actively since 2012, although the facility was officially commissioned just four years later. The ramps from the bridge were completed for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. And last year, a skate park opened under the overpass – a popular place among young people.
But on the cover of the newspaper in the early summer there was a different issue – a scandal in the local health care. The Second Kaliningrad Region Medical Workers’ Congress was held, with more than 300 delegates gathered at the Yantarny Sports Palace, including Governor Georgy Boos, Chief Health Officer Gennady Onishchenko Leon and Roshen Onishchenko.
And so, in the presence of all the high-ranking executives, the doctors did not mention their successes, but openly announced their problems (begging salaries, hellish workload). The deputy chief physician of the regional hospital, Igor Vaisbein, expressed the “failures” of the healthcare reform and shared that the doctors are forced to hide their medical errors. The speakers were heard, not punished and promised to correct everything. The solution then appeared in the appointment of a new Minister of Health and the increase in funding. A lot has changed over the years, of course, but unfortunately there are quite a few problems in regional medicine today.
2018: what football gave
At the beginning of the summer in Kaliningrad, the final preparations for the World Cup continued. Just over a couple of weeks remained until the first match Croatia – Nigeria. About 50 billion rubles were spent on preparing for the World Cup in the region. Our newspaper found out what was built in four years and what will be left for the needs of the area when the sports enthusiasm subsides.
For example, a Beregovaya substation appeared on Oktyabrsky Island, which supplies electricity to the stadium. The installed capacity will be enough to provide a new micro-area. We rebuilt the training grounds (Lokomotiv, Pioneer, Selma stadiums) and built a sports base in Svetlogorsk. Much has been done in terms of infrastructure: Khrabrovo, roads and bridges have been rebuilt, Ostrov has been put in order (a pedestrian boulevard appeared, houses on Karbysheva Street have been repaired, etc.) and Leninsky Prospekt, hospitals have been repaired, hotels have been built. And there is still a huge stadium in Kaliningrad – it is actively used.
In the same issue we wrote about a girl from Kaliningrad who fights in armor and with a sword. Svetlana Fedorova said why she started the medieval battle and how she feels among the knights. Sport appeared in her life only at the age of 25 and in four years the village girl achieved terrible results: women
the Russian team, of which he was the leader, won gold at the World Championships for two consecutive years and Svetlana became the best among women. He shared that in medieval battle everything is true: in the arena they fight with armor that has been created according to historical originals, they fight with real weapons (though not sharpened).
Last year, Svetlana got married, lives in Latvia, no longer leads the national team, but continues her athletic achievements as a member of the Katyusha team.
2020: Activists defend the trees
The theme of the issue was the victory of social activists: they defended 10 hectares of forest relics in Otradnoye. Following protests from locals, the government refused to cut back on development.
The regional officials had an idea – to create a sanatorium-resort complex. And for the placement of spas, hotels and residential buildings for staff, it was supposed to give a large chunk of the old Varniken forest, planted here in 1824. Local activists opposed, thanks to their protests (people wrote appeals to all authorities, got up with posters in defense), the forest was transferred to another category and now any construction there is prohibited.
In March 2021 it was decided to assign the status of special natural area (SPNA) in the Varniken forest. And in April of this year, the head of the region, Anton Alikhanov, announced that an application had been received from the municipality for the acquisition of “green status”. And for the first time in Svetlogorsk, an urban forest will appear legally.
2021: doctors in custody
A year ago, we continued to talk about the “doctors case”. Remember that the neonatologist of the regional perinatal center Elina Sushkevich and at that time and. about. The chief doctor of the maternity hospital No. 4, Elena Bellaya, is accused of killing a newborn in the fall of 2018. The judicial investigation started on August 6 and ended on November 20, 2020, the doctors were acquitted in the Kaliningrad District Court. For almost two years of meetings, the testimonies changed, new details came to light. The whole country learned about Kaliningrad doctors and many stood up for their defense, including (and more than once) the president of the National Medical Chamber, Leonid Rosal.
But last spring, in May, the First Instance Court overturned that verdict. The Deputy Attorney General has asked the Supreme Court to postpone the retrial of the case to the Moscow Regional Court. Sushkevich and Belaya are now in custody and will remain in custody until July 3. The meetings continue, the next one was on May 30th.
A year ago, the acquittal of Elena Bellaja and Elina Suskevich was overturned. A new trial is taking place in Moscow, our doctors are in prison